Egypt reserves doses of anticipated Pfizer and Oxford trial coronavirus vaccines – minister

Egypt has reserved doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech that would cover up to 20 percent of the country’s needs, its health minister said in a statement on Tuesday.

Hala Zayed said the country has also secured doses of a promising British vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University that will meet around 30 percent of the country’s needs.

On Monday, U.S. pharmaceutical Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech announced their Covid-19 vaccine candidate, BNT162b2 is more than 90 percent effective based on results of initial third-phase a large-scale trial.

Pfizer revealed that up to 1.3 billion doses of the vaccine could be produced in 2021.

“The mRNA-based vaccine candidate demonstrated evidence of efficacy against COVID-19 in participants without prior evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection, based on the first interim efficacy analysis conducted on November 8, 2020 by an external, independent Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) from the Phase 3 clinical study,” Pfizer said in a statement.

Later in the day, the World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus hailed Pfizer and BioNTech‘s announcement on the efficacy of their coronavirus vaccine as ‘encouraging’.

“We welcome the encouraging vaccine news from Pfizer and BioNTech Group and salute all scientists and partners around the who are developing new safe, efficacious tools to beat COVID19.” Ghebreyesus tweeted.

While AstraZeneca-Oxford’s vaccine, which has been shown in an early trial to prompt a protective immune response, is expected to be rolled out by the end of the year.

Zayed added that as many as eleven coronavirus vaccines have reached advanced stages, and Egypt is participating in the clinical trials of two of them.

In July, Egypt was selected by China to serve as a future African hub for manufacturing its possible coronavirus vaccines, if Beijing develops one.

Trials of two China-made vaccines are being carried out in Egypt in cooperation with the Chinese government and other drugmakers.